Balksbury Infant School

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About Balksbury Infant School

Name Balksbury Infant School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Katy Thompson
Address Floral Way, Salisbury Road, Andover, SP10 3QP
Phone Number 01264352801
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 269
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to this welcoming and nurturing community. Leaders have high ambitions for all pupils to achieve well.

Each morning, happy pupils arrive feeling enthusiastic about their learning. The school's values of 'perseverance, respect and collaboration' are a crucial part of daily life. Pupils are proud of the way they always try their best and are kind to each other.

Pupils feel safe and well cared for. Everyone is included and feels like they belong. Any form of bullying or unkindness is not tolerated.

If incidents occur, staff deal with them quickly and effectively.

Pupils' behaviour is exceptional. They are extremely polite and

Pupils understand the importance of positive behaviour and how their actions affect their friends. Children in early years show thought and care towards everyone. At playtimes, pupils from different year groups play together harmoniously.

They delight in the exciting and vibrant range of activities available.

Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school's approach. They feel that there is a strong sense of community, working in partnership and living out the shared values.

As one parent said, 'Positive learning is at the heart of the school'.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Pupils achieve well from Reception to the end of Year 2. The curriculum is broad and ambitious for all pupils.

Subject leaders have identified the important concepts pupils must learn and arranged them in a logical order. However, there is more to do. For example, in the early years, and some subjects, the key knowledge that pupils should know and remember is not clear or precise enough.

Leaders are aware of this and have plans to address it.

Staff are well trained to deliver the curriculum. In most subjects, they understand what to teach, when to teach it and the best techniques to deliver it.

Staff present information clearly so that pupils understand what is required of them. However, staff do not assess pupils' knowledge carefully enough in a few subjects. This means they do not always identify gaps in pupils' understanding or help pupils recall knowledge quickly when needed.

Leaders have created an inclusive culture. This is reflected in how well and quickly the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are identified and met. All staff work as a team to ensure that pupils with SEND learn, achieve and thrive alongside their peers.

Leaders prioritise reading because all staff recognise it is central to pupils' success. Children in Reception are taught phonics from the start. They really enjoy learning new sounds and quickly get to grips with these, blending them together to form words.

By the time pupils reach Year 1, the vast majority read very well. The phonics programme is delivered meticulously because of high-quality training and ongoing support. Leaders support teachers in using a wide range of reading books to reinforce pupils' knowledge and increase their vocabulary.

As a result, pupils develop their fluency and comprehension securely, in addition to a love of reading.

Pupils have extremely positive attitudes to their learning. Classrooms are hives of activity.

Pupils are highly motivated, eager and independent learners. In early years, children build their self-confidence and resilience. They engage positively in a wide variety of activities that capture their interests and spark their imagination.

Leaders provide a wide range of opportunities so that pupils become responsible and respectful citizens. For instance, pupils, including children in early years, plant and grow fruit bushes, salad and vegetables. This helps them learn about where food comes from.

High-quality pastoral support aids pupils to develop healthy minds, look after themselves and have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships. A broad range of clubs help to widen pupils' learning experiences. These include the ever-popular sports clubs, outdoor learning, choir and coding.

Leaders carefully consider pupils' interests and talents in creating the offer, ensuring that cost is never a barrier.

Governors provide effective challenge and support to leaders. The vision is clear, and they are focusing on the right things to improve the quality of education.

Governors have a growing understanding of the school's strengths, priorities and next steps. They ask well-informed questions to determine whether leaders' actions are having the intended impact.

Leaders have secured the full support of parents, teachers and pupils.

Teachers appreciate and benefit from the high levels of expertise that leaders bring to the school. This focuses on quality training to improve the designing and teaching of the curriculum. Staff value that leaders are considerate of their workload and are mindful of their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are well trained to recognise potential signs of harm in children. They report any concerns promptly, and leaders diligently make sure that these are followed up.

Leaders get to know pupils and their families very well. They understand the community and whether there are any local risks. The school works effectively with other professionals to reduce harm to children and get them the help they need quickly.

Information about child protection is recorded in detail and overseen precisely to ensure that no concerns are missed. Checks on adults appointed to work in the school are carried out thoroughly and monitored effectively.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders are aware that in the early years and in subjects such as Religious Education (RE) and science, the curriculum does not precisely identify the essential knowledge pupils should learn and remember.

As a result, pupils do not always build and develop their knowledge and skills as effectively as they should. Leaders should ensure that curriculum information for all subjects precisely identifies the essential knowledge that pupils, including children in early years, should learn and remember well. ? Assessment within a few subjects is not yet consistently in place to improve learning.

As a result, teaching is not always informed by what pupils demonstrate that they know securely, can recall quickly or apply in other areas of learning. Leaders should monitor this work carefully to ensure that pupils know and remember more. Evidence teachers collect should be used consistently to help pupils understand what they need to do next.

Also at this postcode
Balksbury Junior School

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